If you are from Ireland or just have a fondness for the Emerald Isle, you will probably have noticed how there are hardly any video games of any description that either come out of Ireland or are based there.
With so much culture and history to draw on this seems strange, so we thought we would dig around to find the very best mobile games out there that have either been developed in Ireland or have their roots firmly set there.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Nintendo Switch
We accept that this is a bit of stretch, not only because the only mobile device this can be played on is the Nintendo Switch, but also because strictly speaking the game is not set in Ireland itself.
That said, what made the game so popular when it was released in the summer of 2017 was how it blended Celtic legend and mythology with that of the Vikings. The result is a game that feels unmistakably Irish.
The game won critical acclaim within the industry but for one reason or another never quite broke through into the mainstream. It is a mystery as to why because it is right up there with games like Half-Life and Quake as a title that changed what is possible. It also dared to deal with salient topics that other games developers tend to shy away from.
The good news is that there is a sequel on the way called Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, which will hopefully have a more accessible mobile version whipped up in double quick time after it releases in 2024.
How long must players wait before there is an Irish open world game to enjoy?
Luck O’ The Stars – iOS and Android
One place where Irish influence can be seen within mobile games is in the domain of online slots, with many titles featuring everything from leprechauns to pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.
One of the very best of these is Luck O’ The Stars which is available as part of a huge choice of other online slot games that can be played on a variety of online platforms. Basically, this game is as entertaining as it can get, with players able to imagine they are in the midst of the St. Patrick’s Day madness every day of the week.
Can you spot a four-leaf clover in among this lot?
Flick Gaelic Football – Android
Other than a couple of PlayStation titles that were released in the early 2000s there has been a notable lack of video games covering Irish sports such as Gaelic Football and Hurling.
This is perhaps because neither sport has ever been willing to become professional, meaning there are less opportunities for games developers and publishers to do the lucrative tie-in deals they would with other sports leagues and organisations.
This is a great shame because both sports, despite being quite alien to large parts of the world’s population, are fast-paced and thrilling to play and spectate.
One Android game that does go some way to capturing the joy of GAA is Flick Gaelic Football, combining Subbuteo style finger flicking control dynamics with the best aspects of the sport itself.
Kings of the Realm and Star Trek Fleet Command – iOS and Android
Neither of these games have anything to do with Ireland other than the fact that they are both developed there by Dublin studio Digit, a developer which was bought out by Scopely a few years ago.
It is yet to be seen but perhaps one day Digit can step out of the shadows of huge franchise titles like Star Trek Fleet Command and begin developing the Ireland-based game that the country and its people so richly deserve.
In the meantime, it is well worth checking out Kings of the Realm; a strategy game that has transferred over beautifully onto mobile, putting players in the midst of an action-packed fantasy world.